It’s about sport, really. Sport, but also national pride, transitory crushes on archers you’ve never heard of, and predicting all the medals each country will win now that some of the Russian team has been banned from the tournament. Fashion, too, has its place, so with that in mind, here are seven looks, people and sports to look out for.
Canada’s soviet-chic uniform
The Canada uniform was designed by twins Dan and Dean Caten of Canadian brand Dsquared2 who really pushed the envelope, what with the regal blazersliteral zip-ups and tees in patriotic red and white in homage to the Canadian flag. However, in light of the news that the entire Russian team is being banned from the Olympics, we are now interpreting them as an homage to Russia, as seen through the lens of offbeat Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and his eponymous label. Much better.
Since Gisele Bündchen is the most iconic Brazilian of all Brazilians, it makes sense that she was chosen to open the Rio Olympics. That, and the predicted record international viewing figures. Still, it figures. Kate Moss was in our opening ceremony and we all watched because she’s virtually a dodo these days. Plus, given that the “futuristic gateway” at the Maracana Stadium through which Gisele is meant to walk is apparently not yet finished, this should prove nicely diverting.
Sweden is having a field day with its take on Olympic uniform, which somehow manages to be part “technical fabrics”, part “recycled polyester” and no Acne, yet somehow still cool. It helps that it has channelled Ivy Park, Beyoncé’s sportswear line, and that yellow and blue are a winning combination in that cheering Roksanda Illinčić way.
The opening ceremony
The best part is usually the opening ceremony because anything can happen. Ours had the Queen, some shout-outs to the NHS and an expensive steampunk sequence, none of which we predicted but which came together. In a similar spirit, then, it’s likely Rio will drum up something involving Carmen Miranda, avocados and carnival, like this pom-pom tower dress from Moschino.
That fencing is still a serious Olympic activity felt like an anomaly that had slipped through the net. Then along came US fencer Miles Chamley-Watson and, well, this stranger secured 2016 as the summer of our objectification. The focus is on the clothes (Hood by Air?), discreet tat and hair – as bleached hair has became a pro-sports look (see Aaron Ramsey and Marouane Fellaini). Fencing, though, is still very weird.
“I don’t play actual golf,” said designer Orla Kiely, referring to her spring/summer 2016 show, which took place on a golf course. In fairness, neither did any Olympians until now, with this year being the first time the sport will feature in the Games. It was hard to extract any true golfing aesthetic from the show – a haze of California, poolside chic in the vein of Slim Aarons, in pinks, oranges and blues – but …
Ruth Beitia’s knee-high socks
Spanish high-jumper Ruth Beitia is the European champion. Our knowledge of high jumpers is pretty limited but we hazard that some of her success is down to her socks – suction-tight, knee-high and very Phillip Lim 3.1.
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